Pictured: Buck McKeon and his wife, Patricia were in Mammoth this week catching up on local news./
I am really at a loss.
On several occasions over the past few years, Mammoth’s Town Council and Town Manager assured the public that it would have a say – that a proposed settlement agreement with MLLA (Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition) would be presented to the citizenry for review and discussion.
So much for “open and transparent” government. That’s what politicians around here promise once every four years about a month before election day.
Yes, we’ll finally get to see the agreement … after it’s done and there’s nothing more to be done about it.
What I don’t understand about this announcement of a settlement is … why the 11th hour fold?
Did it really take the Town and its battery of lawyers that long to figure out that even if you play for an inside straight, you can’t beat a full house?
Or, to make another allusion to poker, why fold before seeing the river card if you’re already up shit creek without a paddle.
Here’s my first suggestion as to how to pay for the settlement: Elimination of salary, health and dental benefits for Town Councilmembers. And if you don’t want to work for free, fine. Quit. Someone will take your place.
The Sheet caught up with Congressman Buck McKeon on Tuesday. He and his wife Patricia were driving home to Santa Clarita from a vacation in Tahoe and stopped through Mammoth to do a little information-gathering regarding the June Mountain closure, the Town bankruptcy, et. al.
McKeon first met with Supervisor-elect Tim Alpers. Then he stopped by each newspaper office.
According to McKeon, the bill he shepherded through Congress to facilitate an MMSA land trade with the Forest Service is stuck in limbo. He said the Senate is not really acting on anything at the moment – typical in the months leading up to a Presidential election.
He also thinks that community support is critical for matters like this, and the recent closure of June Mountain and subsequent outcry from the citizenry makes it easier for Senators Boxer and Feinstein to not move forward. “They have an excuse,” said McKeon.
Sheet: Do you still support the land swap?
McKeon: Yes. If we solve this issue [June Mountain’s closure] … everyone would be back on board.”
McKeon said he didn’t know anything of the June Mountain closure until just before he arrived in town, and Alpers said he believes McKeon, who is a.) Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and b.) Will not be representing Inyo and Mono counties come January due to redistricting. McKeon acknowledged to Alpers that he’s been distracted from his district’s issues by his Committee responsibilities.
McKeon also told The Sheet that he has had no contact with MMSA CEO Rusty Gregory and had no plans to meet with Gregory on his trip.
Sheet: Over the years, Mr. Gregory has made sizable campaign contributions on your behalf …
McKeon: In this job, you don’t just represent the people that give you money.
McKeon had a lot of interesting things to say in regard to the Armed Services Committee, and I will print that part of the interview next week.
We will also print obituaries next week for former Mono County Supervisor Joann Ronci and Tammy Hooper’s late father, Frank Teachout.